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SIX-BILLIONTH-BABY LULLABY
by Bud Buck, 10/15/99

DC: A baby arrived this week to push the world's human population to six billion. We don't know where that child landed ... the United Nations symbolically recognized a birth in Sarajevo as number six billion. But all over the world ... in Bangladesh, in China, and in the United States, some ceremonial notice was paid to this watershed in population growth.
Bud Buck attended an event in a maternity ward, and files this report.

(sfx: crowd)

Tk: Here in the stale, antiseptic air of Sacred Bottom Line Medical Center, a large group of people have come together to welcome baby number six billion. It is a stirring, and solemn occasion.
The child's parents, Lester and Kristy Pestering, had no idea they were giving birth to a landmark in human development.

Kristy: We have never done this before. Constance is our first child.

(sfx: baby crying)

There she goes again. Sweetie ... there there. Mommy's here.

Bud: Did you think she might be the sixth billionth?

Lester: We didn't know there was any prize up for grabs. We had been hoping early on that we could get in on the Y2K sweepstakes, but no ... our due date was too early and I didn't think it was fair to ask Kristi to hold the baby in until New Year's.

Kristi: Thanks, honey.

Lester: But if being six billionth comes with good prizes, I'll take it.

(sfx: crowd and baby crying fade out)


Bud: Although it may seem crass ... Lester Pestering is correct in assuming that there are prizes to be had for siring human number six billion.
Amanda Watchfer is a talent agent who specializes in publicity deals for significant babies.

Amanda: Mostly the big babies these days ... you see in the media. They're the multiples. Quints. Sextuplets. Septuplets. The more there are, the easier it is to get free diapers, free formula, free cribs, strollers and such.

Bud: It used to be quints were an automatic ... a big big story.

Amanda: Not too long ago, a talented significant baby agent like myself could get you a house and a car for your quintuplets. But five ... they're almost ordinary now. The companies are kinda tired of it and they want babies that are newsworthy in other ways.

Bud: Thus the interest in the first child of Y2K.

Amanda: That's going to be awesome. But being Baby Six Billion is pretty good too.

Bud: Although the disagreement about who the baby is and where ... complicates things.

Amanda: Yes, that dilutes the power of this baby's earning potential.
I know the parents were hoping for a college scholarship.

Bud: That wasn't in the cards?

Amanda: Well ... we were close to a deal with Calvin Coolidge College ... but then somebody in the publicity office realized that by the time Constance was old enough to enroll, baby seven Billion will have arrived. And once that happens ... baby six billion is pretty stale news.

Bud: That's one obvious negative side effect of rapid population growth right there.

Amanda: Constance has to bear the brunt of that.

Bud: Heartless.

Amanda: But I was able to score a year's worth of diapers and a panel truck loaded with formula. That's pretty good!

(sfx: crowd, crying baby fade up)

Bud: AND, Constance Pestering also received one hundred cases of talcum, five portable cribs, sixty bibs, one thousand and twenty teething rings, a little potty (yes, only one), 258 blankets, 93 beanie babies 15 copies of Paul Erlich's book "The Population Bomb," and a package of stick-on tattoos.
Overall, her parents were satisfied with the haul.

Kristi: I think when you consider most of the 340 thousand babies born the same day as Constance are going to live lives of poverty and ignorance ... we did OK.

Lester: Would've been nice to get more of those ... whattayacallits?

Kristi: Teething biscuits.

Lester: They're great with coffee.

(sfx: crowd fade up)

Bud: The Pestering family also received telephone or e-mail greetings from 17 heads of state, 129 talk show hosts and 3 high school volleyball coaches.

(fade in cd - You'll Never Walk Alone)

At the end of what was a very eventful and busy day, little Constance was serenaded to sleep ... OK, she cried throughout ... but still she received a lovely choral tribute from the Sons and Daughters of the Sons and Daughters of the Children of Yesterday's New Millennium ... who performed a medley of tunes including " Hail, Hail The Gang's all Here, No one is Alone, No man is an Island, Fifty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong, Some Enchanted Evening You May See A Stranger Across A Crowded Room, People Who Need People, and this ... You'll Never Walk Alone", because the chances are good ... she won't.
From the crowded Maternity Ward at Sacred Bottom Line Medical Center, this is Bud Buck!

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